Over the years the Government has always considered ways to combine the top brainpower from the public and private sectors in exploring strategies to stimulate higher economic growth. We have had numerous initiatives carried out like this but never one on a level such as currently executed for the National Key Economic Area or NKEA labs. Then you can understand why I was extremely gratified that this effort is yielding promising results so far.
That a collaboration of this scale has been realised is a momentous occasion in our country’s history, and I shared that fact with the participants during my visit last week for a halfway-point briefing and status report. I have been informed that, thanks to the public-private partnerships in the labs, a total of 118 entry point projects and 35 business opportunities have been identified. With a possible combined investment value of about US$155 billion – roughly 66% of the targeted amount of US$240 billion for the next 10 years – these projects and business opportunities, together with their multiplier effects, have the potential to generate a sum of US$584 billion in Gross National Income between now and the year 2020. Of course, there is still plenty of work to do; in the remaining few weeks of these NKEA labs, the participants are expected to ascertain more EPPs and business opportunities with an additional US$80 billion investment value.
We are steadily moving into an era where economic growth is spurred by the private sector and where the government underpins its primary role in implementing public policies that encourage this growth. The private sector will be the engine of growth of our nation moving forward and the Government is serious in looking into ways to make Mlaysia more business friendly. This is how I envisioned public-private partnerships to develop in this nation: together, as One Team Malaysia. This exercise indicates that we have the means and the will to make a quantum leap to become a fully developed high-income nation in 10 years’ time.
In August, similar to the NKRA development process, the government will host an Open Day for the public to learn more about the NKEA initiatives and share their feedback. Following this, we will immediately set up the proper implementation mechanism to ensure our projected investment and GNI targets will be met. As I assured the participants at the lab, I also assure all Malaysians that we will build on this momentum, and that the government is deeply committed to make this massive transformation happen, imbued with the spirit of 1Malaysia.